Recognizing the Symptoms of Chinese Restaurant Syndrome after Consuming MSG

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Recognizing the Symptoms of Chinese Restaurant Syndrome after Consuming MSG
Recognizing the Symptoms of Chinese Restaurant Syndrome after Consuming MSG

Chinese restaurant syndrome is a series of symptoms experienced by a person after consuming food containing the additive monosodium glutamate (MSG). These symptoms can include headaches, chest pain, burning in the mouth, hives, and muscle aches

It is called Chinese restaurant syndrome because Chinese restaurants generally use MSG in every dish. Well, a series of symptoms due to consumption of MSG is also known as the MSG complex symptom. This severe symptom first appeared in 1986.

Recognize the Symptoms of Chinese Restaurant Syndrome after Consuming MSG - Alodokter

MSG itself is the sodium s alt of the amino acid glutamate isolated from seaweed or fermented corn, potatoes, and rice. The purpose of giving MSG is to improve the taste of food or popularly known as umami.

Chinese restaurant syndrome is different from an allergic reaction due to MSG consumption. These symptoms usually appear in some people who are sensitive to food additives or additives.

Chinese Restaurant Syndrome Symptoms

Not only in Chinese restaurants, MSG is now widely used all over the world as an additive to enhance the taste of dishes.

However, over the years, various reactions have been recorded after consuming foods containing MSG or Chinese restaurant syndrome, including:

  • face blushing
  • Body sweating
  • Headache
  • chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Heart pounding
  • Muscle pain
  • stomach ache
  • Itchy skin
  • Diarrhea
  • There is pressure on the face
  • Tingling in the face, neck, or other body parts
  • Back pain

Chinese restaurant syndrome has also been reported to cause symptoms in the form of fluid accumulation (edema) in the inside of the throat that hangs on the roof of the mouth (uvula). Edema of the uvula even touches the base of the tongue and makes it difficult for the sufferer to speak or swallow.

How to Overcome and Prevent Chinese Restaurant Syndrome

The symptoms of Chinese restaurant syndrome are usually mild and do not require any specific treatment. However, you can take acetaminophen or aspirin if you have a headache after eating foods that contain MSG.

In addition, drinking lots of water can also help flush MSG out of your system and relieve symptoms.

However, this symptom of Chinese restaurant syndrome can also be a sign of a life-threatening allergic reaction or anaphylaxis. Immediately visit the nearest he alth facility if you experience shortness of breath, palpitations, chest tightness, and swollen lips or throat.

The prevention of MSG complex symptoms can be done by limiting the consumption of foods that contain MSG. Consumption of MSG should be no more than 3 grams per day, with an average of each food containing 0.5 grams of MSG.

However, if you experience severe symptoms of Chinese restaurant syndrome, you should avoid consuming MSG. Check the label before buying or ask the waiter to make sure the food you ordered does not contain MSG.

In choosing packaged foods, there are several ingredients that you should avoid if you don't want to consume MSG, including:

  • Monosodium glutamate
  • Yeast Extract
  • Soybean Extract
  • Cheese
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Hydrolyzed Yeast
  • Tomato
  • Autolyzed Yeast

In addition, various processed food products, such as frozen foods, mixed spices, chili sauce, sausages, and powdered broth, also contain high levels of MSG, so they should be avoided if your body is sensitive to food additives.

MSG can also be found naturally in various protein-rich foods, such as poultry, meat and seafood, as well as vegetables, such as mushrooms and broccoli.

Therefore, if you experience Chinese restaurant syndrome, don't hesitate to consult a doctor to get treatment and advice on what food choices should be consumed, as well as how to process them to prevent symptoms from appearing.

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